Sarrafs after agreement

Barbara and Paul ‘P.J.’ Sarraf say they are relieved P.J. will keep his job as a Mullica Township police officer after lawyers came to an agreement that will allow him some accommodations of his medical conditions.

MULLICA TOWNSHIP — Most of the township’s police force no longer wanted to work under soon-to-be retired Chief John Thompson, a survey found.

The Police Department’s rank-and-file participated in an anonymous survey, said Officer P.J. Sarraf, who read a letter aloud and gave a copy of it to each Township Committee member during their regular meeting Tuesday.

Ten members of the 11-member department participated.

They responded with a unanimous vote of no confidence in Thompson, Sarraf said.

“Due to the controversy we’ve seen in the press, the rank-and-file members of the Mullica Township Police Department want it to be clear that we initiated and took this vote with no outside interference or encouragement,” Sarraf said, quoting the letter.

Sarraf said he read and gave the letter to the committee in his capacity as a shop steward with Mainland PBA Local #77.

Last year, Thompson tried to fire Sarraf due to Sarraf’s inability to work overnight shifts because of medical issues.

The Township Committee accepted Thompson’s retirement earlier this month. He will serve until Jan. 1 in an advisory capacity and meet weekly with acting chief Capt. Brian Zeck to ensure a smooth transition of leadership, Committeewoman Kristi Hanselmann said.

Zeck is the son-in-law of Mayor Chris Silva.

Prior to the announcement of his retirement, it was revealed Thompson was the subject of an internal affairs investigation, the details of which have not been disclosed.

The letter was accepted by the committee members without comment, and residents in attendance did not bring it up during the public-comment portion of the meeting.

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